Are you suffering from O.C. withdrawal this summer? Don't think you'll make it until new episodes start airing in September? We've discovered a new show that'll take care of your nighttime suds fix. Although ABC Family's Wildfire (Mondays at 8 pm/ET) has horses instead of pithy pony Seth Cohen, there are some striking similarities between early Newport events and current Raintree happenings. Join us in reveling in the soapy goodness of it all.
Car troubles: Our first glimpse of The O.C's Ryan Atwood is of him breaking into a car with his brother, Trey, and then landing in a juvenile detention. Wildfire kicks off with spunky girl Kris Furillo in juvy serving time for carjacking.
A hand up not a handout: Both troubled youths need some help getting out of their sticky situations and they get it. Ryan's savior is Sandy Cohen, his public defender who brushes off skeptics and lets the teen stay in his pool house. Kris' community-service work and newly discovered equestrian ability catch the eye of horse trainer Pablo. He gives her a job at Raintree Horse farm.
You did what? While Sandy and Pablo are generous souls, the ladies of the house tend to frown upon the prospect of inviting strange teens with questionable pasts into their sacred abodes. Case in point: Kirsten insisted Ryan's stay was temporary. Jean Ritter, Raintree's owner, doesn't like the pretty Kris hanging around her impressionable sons, Matt and Todd.
Not-So Smooth Sailing: Both fish-out-of-water teens want to turn their lives around, but they struggle with going straight at first. Ryan has a run-in with the authorities after Kirsten's model home is set on fire, and Kris is forced to serve another three-month sentence when she steals her beloved horse, Wildfire, in an attempt to give him a better life.
Dangerous liaisons: Ryan develops an immediate crush on his comely neighbor, Marissa, but her tough-guy boyfriend Luke and disapproving mother aim to put an end to that. Kris has her choice of men: Raintree's heir apparent, Matt, and the spoiled Junior Davis. However, Junior's sister, Dani, has an on-again, off-again romance with Matt and likes to keep control over her brother, so she schemes to send the female farm hand packing.
We've got class: Both Ryan and Kris come from blue-collar backgrounds and are thrust into upper-class society. And their welcome from the snobby set is not exactly warm. Ryan gets beaten up by Luke, and Kris punches bitchy Dani when the rich girl tries to get her sent back to jail.
Mommy Dearest: On many TV series, mother knows best, but on The O.C., Ryan's mother, Dawn, abandons him when he needs her most and causes an embarrassing drunken scene before ceding custody to the Cohens. Wildfire follows a similar plotline, except Kris' mom wants her daughter back to help her kick her habit of drinking and popping pills.
Happily ever after? Ryan eventually settles into the Newport luxury lifestyle, though nothing is ever quite like a fairy tale. Will things turn out well for Kris? Well, after only three episodes, it's still a little bit of a rocky road, but we've got a feeling she can pull ahead in this horse race.